At its core, a high-performing work environment is made up of a few key aspects to ensure that they enhance the production of quality work. With so much data and a great deal of studies, sometimes all it takes to get on the right tracks is to totally simplify things. With an office, that is five basic components.
Recent studies and surveys are continually unearthing more and more interesting data on how team productivity is intrinsically linked to office design. Trouble is, do professionals within medium sized enterprises really have the time to study and ensure their office is up to every exacting standard? Probably not.
Wouldn’t it be much easier if people just laid out in plain English which areas are most important for design success? Probably. In this article we hope to do just that. However, before we go on, it’s important to note that design choices and how a space is used in terms of colours, details and furnishings will often have the biggest impact.
Important office spaces for design success
The best performing workplaces are obvious as soon as you enter by doing two things. Firstly, it’s personifies an organisation, showing through colours and workflows where they stand in terms of the aspects such as personal vs professional or established vs cutting edge. Secondly, it does this in a way that clearly enables working – all areas are being utilised, work is clearly being done and deadlines are being met.
This kind of workplaces can be elusive if you are unwilling to invest in the right solutions for your business. At the very least, you should be aware of the five most important office spaces for design success:
- The Open-Plan Desk Space
For most modern offices, this is the space that is most commonly used daily, and considered the main “floor” where work is conducted. Open plan desk space needs to be designed to facilitate lone working, with comfortable, well-resourced desk space, while also allowing for basic communication between employees. Larger scale communication/collaboration should be conducted in a breakout space.
- The Quiet Work Space
The need for quiet zones is becoming more and more obvious as workers begin to voice their frustrations with being unable to properly focus on lone-work for prolonged periods in the open-plan desk space. The quiet work space should be a place that provides on-demand quiet space, or even confidential meeting space.
- The Breakout Space
The importance of a good breakout space is becoming more and more obvious, not just as a place for relaxation and for recharging during the work day, but also for informal meetings and collaboration between teams when well managed. The breakout space should have a focus on energy and creativity for the best benefit.
- The Resource Space
Although many places are heading for a paperless office, the resource space is still an important, if slightly frustrating, office space. It is the area that holds, amongst other things, stationery, printers and photocopiers. These spaces need to be cleverly designed to reduce clutter and look welcoming as they traditionally have a clinical feel.
- The Overflow/Touchdown Space
Different to the breakout space, yet often integrated with it and just as important. The touchdown space is where a visitor or interviewee might be put up to work for a short period. They can also be used for simple, shorter personal tasks. They are the flexible area that facilitates swings in occupancy.